I’m Matt Roberts, your candidate for the seat of Geraldton this state election.
I have been a teacher for over 12 years. I know how we undervalue our teaching staff across Australia at all levels. I really love facilitating the learning of a new generation of thinkers and doers who increasingly face the challenge of fixing a world that has been taken for granted by previous generations.
I have seen too many politicians make promises and then suddenly compromise their integrity in the political system. They listen to big donors and corporations and forget about the people living in their electorates day-to-day. In fact, I think that politicians are disconnected from the day-to-day realities and more interested in creating a good post or soundbite over listening to communities. Unless we work together to stop the impending climate crisis, farming will become harder and regional people will suffer as they already have unequal access to healthcare and other essential services.
The regions are a crucial part of WA’s social and cultural identity and essential to our food security and economy. Yet, successive governments have left our regions under resourced.
To ensure our regions are able to thrive, we must invest in rural health and mental health services, educational opportunities and innovative industry practices in agriculture, forestry and the renewables sector - all providing quality long-term local jobs.
As a region surrounded by agriculture, I’m concerned at the ongoing degradation of land and water through practices such as fracking and business as usual. Geraldton is a major port connected to the mining industry and could be a hub for an innovative new economy that could see jobs growth in the area and a shift to a cleaner, greener future. I also see the broader benefits to the community and a way to keep young people engaged in working in our regions.
I know that the risks taken to get more gas through fracking are not worth it. We get told we need more gas, but it’s just being sold for profits while the communities that are impacted do not see the financial benefits - big companies do. Water is a resource that cannot be replaced and risking it when the community is firmly against it is arrogant and a wilful disregard of the people in the communities.